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All the news and video from the Tour de France and Giro Donne. Eddy Merckx not impressed by Mathieu van der Poel leaving the Tour – TOP STORY. Team news: Soudal new sponsor for Lefevere, Lotto and Soudal together through 2022, new sponsor for Gianni Savio, Deceuninck – Quick-Step with Napoleon and the UCI team ranking. Rider news: Peter Sagan to TotalEnergies, Paul Lapeira and Valentin Paret Peintre for AG2R-Citroën and Arnaud De Lie for Lotto Soudal. Race news: Ladies Tour of Norway will go ahead. Plus Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux Giro d’Italia film. Big EUROTRASH coffee.

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TOP STORY: Merckx on Van der Poel Abandoning the Tour
Eddy Merckx enjoyed Mathieu van der Poel’s performance in the first week of the Tour, but has also made a critical comment. Van der Poel decided to leave the Tour early on Sunday with a view to training for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. “I think it’s a pity just to leave,” Merckx said in conversation with Sporza.

Van der Poel was one of the strongmen of the first Tour week. The Alpecin-Fenix ​​rider took an emotional stage victory on the côte de Mûr-de-Bretagne, captured the yellow jersey and held it for six days. “What he did on the Mûr-de-Bretagne was magnificent,” was Merckx’s opinion.

“Grab the bonus seconds on the first passage and the victory on the second passage, then you have to be really strong.” The five-time Tour winner is full of praise for the Dutchman, but does not understand Van der Poel’s decision to leave just before the rest day. “I couldn’t. When you start a stage race, it is not to get off. Otherwise you just have to prepare for the Games in a different way.”

“That does not benefit cycling,” Merckx said. “Van der Poel himself is asking for such a full schedule. No one is forcing him to do all that. The Tour de France is the biggest race of the year and in cycling, I think it’s a shame to just leave.”

Van der Poel stated on Sunday that he felt he had nothing more to prove. “The Games have been a dream of mine for four years and I don’t want to waste my chances by staying here in the Tour for a little too long. If I followed my heart, I would ride to Paris. But because of the cancellation of the Games last year due to corona, it is difficult to combine.”

Merckx would never leave the Tour:
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Tour de France 2021
Mark Cavendish claimed his third stage victory on Stage 10 in the 108th Tour de France as he out-sprinted Belgians Wout van Aert and Jasper Philipsen in Valence after an eventful finalé. The peloton split on several occasions but it was another bunch gallop. Tadej Pogacar retained the Maillot Jaune ahead of the much anticipated double ascent of the Mont Ventoux.

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Van der Sande and Houle at the front
164 riders took the start of stage 10 in Albertville. One non-starter: Jonas Koch (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert). Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto-Soudal) attacked at km 2. Hugo Houle (Astana) caught up with him. There was no chase from the peloton. At km 17, a time gap of 6:05 was recorded, after which Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) tried to shake up the bunch but it was soon reorganised with DSM pulling at a steady tempo before Tim Declercq started to set the pace for Deceuninck – Quick-Step. Houle took the only KOM point up for grabs at col de Couz, km 58.5. Van der Sande won the intermediate sprint at La Placette, km 82.3, where Mark Cavendish didn’t try to defend his green jersey against the likes of Sonny Colbrelli, Michael Matthews and Jasper Philipsen who took the top spots behind the leading two riders.

All together with 36km to go
In the second half of the stage, the peloton kept the leading duo on a leash, at around about 1:30. Critérium du Dauphiné winner Richie Porte (INEOS Grenadiers) crashed in the peloton at km 121 but made his way back to the pack after a bike change. As the bunch sped up, the time difference was only 28 seconds with 45km to go but looking at the stormy weather ahead, the main group took it easy. Van der Sande sat up with 38km to go. 2km further, Houle was brought back as well after BikeExchange upped the tempo at the head of the peloton. Deceuninck – Quick-Step tried to create echelons with 30km to go but the conditions weren’t ideal for that despite the threat of a stormy weather. As the bunch slowed down, Colbrelli was able to come back after a flat tyre.

Deceuninck-Quick Step paves the way
More echelons were formed with 12km to go. But no sprinter or GC rider missed out on the first part. DSM tried to set up the sprint for Cees Bol but Deceuninck – Quick-Step kept the situation under control and led the pack under the flamme rouge. Successively, Julian Alaphilippe, Kasper Asgreen, Davide Ballerini and Michael Mørkøv paved the way for Cavendish who fended off van Aert on his left and Philipsen on his right hand side to take one more stage victory, only one shy off Eddy Merckx’ record of 34 wins at the Tour de France.

# You can read the full stage 10 report and photo gallery HERE. #

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Stage winner and points leader, Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I remember buying cycling magazines when I was younger and you could find there articles on the art of sprinting stuff and how a lead-out works, and this was what we had today. An old school, textbook lead-out, like you read in the magazines. We just got the boys on the front and they pulled as fast as they could so no one could come up and try to come past in the finish. We knew the final kilometres and were confident we had the team for the sprint. I was kept fresh throughout the entire day by the guys, who worked non-stop for me, showed an incredible commitment and made sure I was where I needed to be. All these things make me super proud to be part of this team. I’m so humbled by my teammates’ sublime effort and the lead-out train they provided to me. The winner of Flanders, the World Champion, who has also worn the yellow jersey here, the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner and Michael, who’s the World Madison Champion and is going to the Olympic Games to try to win there – they all left everything on the road for me. I just had to finish it off today. I didn’t really do anything, it was the team I have to thank for everything.”

Overall leader and best young rider, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates): “We’ll see how the warm weather will affect me tomorrow. It was windy the whole stage, but in the last 20 kilometres there was a bit more headwind. Otherwise it was pretty quiet in between some attacks. I could relax and eat. That’s one less stage to worry about. I only climbed Mont Ventoux once, that was just before this Tour de France. There were already so many fans on a normal day, when I can’t imagine how busy it will be tomorrow, I’m looking forward to racing there. It will be a long, hard and hot day. But I trained for it and I feel well prepared.”

2nd on the stage, Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “It was a hectic, but fun final. I could come from the slipstream of Cavendish, but when I came into the wind I couldn’t make up the difference. I don’t have any excuses: he was just faster today. I was in the place where every sprinter wants to be in this Tour and I have to thank Mike for that. He did a great job in dropping me off. This is motivating to make something of it in the coming stages. Tomorrow I will help Jonas again and I hope to see a lot of Belgian supporters on the Mont Ventoux. It was announced, but the wind blew a little differently in the end. Normally any calamities would mainly occur in the last ten kilometres, but now it went really fast in the peloton. Mike, Jonas, Tony and I were well in front. I had hoped there would have been a little more havoc with the wind, then maybe a few more fast guys would have been released. Still, I look back on a good and entertaining day.”

4th overall, Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma): “It was a hectic final, but the team supported me very well. I never really got into trouble and that really does me good. I like to fight for the classification. That suits me. I am looking forward to the Ventoux. Hopefully I have good climbing legs.”

8th on the stage, Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was another fast stage and the team focused on making sure Wilco was always in a good position and protected in case of echelons and splits in the peloton. In the closing kilometres I was in the front but in the final approach, before the last turn, I was a bit further back, not in an ideal position. As a result, I wasn’t able to launch my sprint when I would have liked. My knee is getting better and I’ll keep fighting.”

11th on the stage, Boy van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “Although I am disappointed not to be in the top 10 which was within reach, there are reasons for me to be happy today. I managed to get past the last climb, even though I was on the limit. Then, with Louis Meintjes we were blocked when the first echelons formed. I sprinted in order for us to catch the front group, and I was almost empty after this effort. I tried to recover as much as possible for the sprint, which I approached in a very good position in the last corner. First, Sagan almost crashed just in front of me at 150 meters, then I was blocked by Turgis when I wanted to go to the right. It did not allow me to fully sprint and defend my chances. I would have liked to get a second top 10 for the team, which is why there is some disappointment, so close to making it happen. But the main thing today is that we have avoided the traps of this transition stage.”



Break rider, Hugo Houle (Astana-Premier Tech): “It wasn’t planned for me to be part of the early break. I just saw a Lotto-Soudal rider going on the attack and I decided to join him. The real idea behind my move was that there might be fireworks on the climb, maybe some battle behind that would help someone to catch us from the bunch… but it didn’t happen. Besides, we knew we stood no chances with such a strong wind. It is so hard to beat a team like Deceuninck-Quick Step when they are chasing you… Anyway, it was nice to be at the front of the race – especially when we got some tailwind! I enjoyed my day, appreciating people cheering for us from the roadside. The combativity prize is fine, but my real goal at this race is to win a stage for my brother.”

KOM, Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic): “This has been a very quiet day for me, although my team has worked hard for looking for the win with Nacer [Bouhanni]. The wind was blowing a lot in the final part, therefore I disconnected in the last kilometres and I just made it safely to the finish line. I have bookmarked tomorrow’s stage. I’ll look once again at scoring the maximum KOM points possible. I like the Mont Ventoux. I’ve raced up there a few times and I’ve always done pretty well. I hope tomorrow will be a big day.”

Tour de France Stage 10 Result:
1. Mark Cavendish (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:14:07
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
3. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
4. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
5. Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange
6. Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
7. André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-up Nation
8. Peter Sagan (Svk) BORA-hansgrohe
9. Anthony Turgis (Fra) TotalEnergies
10. Cees Bol (Ned) DSM.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 10:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 38:25:17
2. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 2:01
3. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo at 5:18
4. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 5:32
5. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 5:33
6. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 5:47
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 5:58
8. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech at 6:12
9. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 7:02
10. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 7:22.

Tour’21 stage 10:

 

Belgian champion Wout van Aert made the most of the double dose of the Mont Ventoux on Stage 11, originally planned to suit the pure climbers. He rode away solo from a breakaway group in the second ascent to fend off Kenny Elissonde and Bauke Mollema in Malaucène. Despite an attack by Jonas Vingegaard 1.2km before the summit, Tadej Pogacar retained the yellow jersey.

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Alaphilippe the most active rider in the first half of stage 11
164 riders took the start of stage 11 at Sorgues. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) was first into action. Simon Geschke (Cofidis) tried his luck. Jonas Rickaert (Alpecin-Fenix) and Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) stayed longer out front. At km 25, Alaphilippe and Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) rode away while Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma) crashed out. The World champion powered to the côte de Fontaine-du-Vaucluse (cat. 4, km 32) alone in the lead. He was caught by five riders at km 42 after the intermediate sprint. Alaphilippe was reinforced after the côte de Gordes (cat. 4, km 43.7) by Dan Martin (Israel-Start Up-Nation), Anthony Perez (Cofidis) and Pierre Rolland (B&B-KTM). A group of 13 chasers was formed behind them: Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates), Julian Bernard, Bauke Mollema, Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo), Nils Politt (BORA-hansgrohe), Xandro Meurisee, Kristian Sbaragli (Alpecin-Fenix), Luke Durbridge (BikeExchange), Quentin Pacher (B&B Hotels-KTM), Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Greg Van Avermaet, Benoît Cosnefroy (Ag2r-Citröen), Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis).

INEOS-Grenadiers in the lead of the yellow jersey group
Cosnefroy was dropped and swallowed by the peloton. At the bottom of Mont Ventoux, the four leaders were reunited with the twelve remaining chasers with 99km to go while INEOS-Grenadiers kept pacing the pack 5 minutes behind. 12km before the summit, Alaphilippe, Durbridge, van Aert, Meurisse, Bernard, Elissonde and Perez rode away. Mollema came across to them with 1km to go to the top. Alaphilippe sprinted to take the KOM points before Perez and Mollema. With 50km to go, it was still INEOS-Grenadiers leading the peloton with the same deficit while David Gaudu was the only member of the top 10 overall to have been dropped, suffering the heat and the consequences of a very fast start.

Van Aert counters the Trek-Segafredo trio
Bernard upped the tempo as the front group headed back to the Mont Ventoux, paving the way for Elissonde to attack and go solo with 36km to go and 14km yet to climb. Van Aert came across to the Frenchman 1 kilometres further. While Mollema rode Alaphilippe off his wheel and tried to bridge the gap to the leading duo, van Aert went solo 11km before the summit. Ben O’Connor (AG2R-Citroën) was the first of the top 9 riders on GC to be distanced from the yellow jersey group still led by four INEOS-Grenadiers. Eventually, it wasn’t Carapaz but Vingegaard who launched an attack with 1.2km to go to the summit. While van Aert managed to retain his lead of 1:05 on the descent over Elissonde and Mollema, Vingegaard was brought back by Pogačar, Uran and Carapaz before the finish in Malaucène. This is the fourth stage win for van Aert at the Tour de France after three bunch sprints in Albi, Privas and Lavaur.

# You can read the full stage 11 report and photo gallery HERE. #

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Stage winner, Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “I am speechless. I never dared to dream at the start of the Tour that I could win this stage. Yesterday I suddenly felt I wanted to go for the stage win today as well. I asked the team if I could fight for myself in the breakaway of the day. This might be my best victory ever, because the Mont Ventoux is one of the most iconic climbs in cycling. I believed in it along the way and with faith anything is possible. The support was also overwhelming. It was an honour to ride up the Ventoux in the national jersey. It was difficult for me to start this Tour at my top level because of the operation on my appendicitis. And we had so much bad luck in the first week. With Primoz Roglic we lost our leader and with Robert Gesink our super-domestique. Today we have unfortunately also lost our experienced Tony Martin. Fortunately, everything fell into place in the final. It is a matter of keep going and being able to make the switch every time. This only motivates me more. I’m going to keep helping Jonas, just like the whole team. He is very strong.”

Overall leader and 4th on the stage, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “The pace was very strong throughout the climb and when Vingegaard attacked in the final, I couldn’t keep up with him, as he was pushing hard. I kept my composure, I knew that the summit was not far and I concentrated on keeping a decent rhythm and still having the energy in my legs to push downhill. We worked well with Uran and Carapaz and returned. I am not surprised by Vingegaard, because he has always proved to be one of the strongest climbers. Here at the Tour there are no easy days and also tomorrow we will probably have to deal with the wind.”

9th on the stage and 6th overall, Wilco Kelderman (BORA-hansgrohe): “Unlike the previous wet and cold stages, we had a hot day but we already knew it so I took a lot of drinks, kept hydrated, and felt good throughout the day. It was very tough to climb Mont Ventoux twice but I was well in the finale. When Vingegaard attacked I was on my limit and couldn’t react, I just had to ride at my own pace. I’m happy with my performance, I could say it was a good day, although not extraordinary. The podium isn’t far, we could possibly be in contention but we’ll have to see on the next stages how everything goes. I’m focused on doing my job and riding well. If I finish fifth overall, I would still be satisfied. I’m happy with how I performed today and even if I might have the podium in my sights, if I don’t achieve it because the rest are stronger, that’s the way it is.”

19th on the stage and 16th overall, Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “It was one of the first hot days on this Tour, and we could see that some riders dealt with these temperatures better than others. As far as I’m concerned, it was a pretty good day as I was able to gain some places in the GC. I would have hoped to finish closer to the best guys, but at the end of the day I can say that it was a positive outcome for me. We keep on fighting every day to do even better.”

Break rider, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I was keen on going to the attack, so I showed my intentions from the very beginning. I enjoyed it today and I gave my best, but the stage was a lap too long for me. On the other hand, I can’t tell you how delighted I am to have been first at the summit of Mont Ventoux with the rainbow jersey on my shoulders. It’s a special ascent, a mythical one which everybody knows, and to crest it first it’s an unbelievable feeling.”

KOM, Nairo Quintana (Arkea Samsic): “My early attack along with Julian Alaphilippe was a great effort for me. I had my rivals for the KOM classification on the back of my mind, and I decided to anticipate my move hoping some riders would bridge across from the bunch on the first climb. In the end, that didn’t happen and, soon after the intermediate sprint, a break went away and I couldn’t make it. Knowing there was a big group ahead and that Ineos was playing for the GC from the bunch, I decided to ease up and save some energy for the upcoming days. I feel well. There will come days on which I will be on the break. Heat doesn’t play against me: I’m used to it.”

Points leader, Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “We knew today we were not going to be as close to the time limit as we were on Sunday, but still we had to be focused the whole day. My teammates were there with me, helping me up and down the mountains. I’m very tired – I guess everybody is. I’ve done many Tours de France, but this for sure is one of the hardest. Being here is very cool. I spoke to [race director Christian] Prudhomme in the eve of the race and I told him how much I love this race. I’m a man of my word, so I won’t quit: I’ll keep going for as long as I can. Let’s see how it goes tomorrow. Just because we have won several times, it doesn’t mean it is easy to do it.”

Tour de France Stage 11 Result:
1. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 5:17:43
2. Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo at 1:14
3. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
4. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 1:38
5. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo
6. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers
7. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma
8. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech at 1:56
9. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
10. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 3:02.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 11:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 43:44:38
2. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo at 5:18
3. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 5:32
4. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 5:33
5. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 5:58
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 6:16
7. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech at 6:30
8. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 7:11
9. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 9:29
10. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 10:28

Tour’21 stage 11:

 

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Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile 2021
Anna van der Breggen convincingly won the mountain time trial Stage 4 in the Giro d’Italia Donne. The pink jersey wearer of SD Worx was more than a minute faster than the second placed Demi Vollering in the 11.2 kilometre time trial finishing in Riale. Van der Breggen consolidated her lead.

The first 3.8 kilometres of the time trial were slightly uphill. After that, the road went up in earnest at an average rise of 7.5 percent, with peaked beyond 10 percent.

Grace Brown took the hot seat for a long time, but the Australian time trial specialist from BikeExchange was still defeated in the end. Demi Vollering, third overall, managed to beat Brown’s time. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio was also riding well, but the climber couldn’t beat Brown’s time. The times of Vollering, Brown and Moolman-Pasio, however, were nothing compared to Van der Breggen’s performance. The SD Worx leader dived 1:05 minutes under Vollering’s time and took her second stage victory of this Giro Donne. Brown followed at 1:16 of the winner and Moolman at one and a half minutes. Marta Cavalli finished in 5th place, within two minutes of Van der Breggen.

In the general classification, the Dutch rider, who will retire after this season, extends her lead even further. Moolman-Pasio now follows at 2:51, followed by Vollering at 3:03. Lizzie Deignan is the first non-SD Worx rider in fourth place, almost 6 minutes behind Van der Breggen.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Anna van der Breggen (SD Worx): “This was a good test for the Games. It was a very nice time trial. We don’t have many time trials like this, actually never. It was really nice to ride this time trial. I’m in a luxurious position with this team around me. Especially in my last year it is nice to do this. We are only halfway there. I also need good legs for the rest of the tour. There are still some difficult mountain stages to come and hopefully it will continue to go well, but we have to keep fighting for it. We are mainly looking at the standings. But we are also here with Chantal van den Broek-Blaak and Elena Cecchini. They definitely want to attack in the flat stages. This also applies to the stages in the mountains. So if there are opportunities, we go for stage wins, but of course we keep a close eye on the classification.”

3rd on the stage, Grace Brown (BikeExchange): “I’m happy with third place on today’s stage, I really wanted to test myself in an individual time trial ahead of the Olympics, so I achieved that today. It was a pretty tough course, with lots of climbing, so not particularly suited to me, but that makes me proud that I fought anyway for that third position.”

Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile Stage 4 Result:
1. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) SD Worx in 24:57
2. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx at 1:06
3. Grace Brown (Aus) BikeExchange at 1:17
4. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) SD Worx at 1:30
5. Marta Cavalli (Ita) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope at 1:55
6. Juliette Labous (Fra) DSM at 2:14
7. Katrine Aalerud (Nor) Movistar at 2:15
8. Elizabeth Deignan (GB) Trek-Segafredo at 2:22
9. Gaia Realini (Ita) Isolmant-Premac-Vittoria
10. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 2:38.

Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile Overall After Stage 4:
1. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) SD Worx in 7:40:53
2. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) SD Worx at 2:51
3. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx at 3:03
4. Elizabeth Deignan (GB) Trek-Segafredo at 5:53
5. Elise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon-SRAM at 6:12
6. Erica Magnaldi (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT at 6:35
7. Mavi Garcia (Spa) Alé BTC Ljubljana at 6:57
8. Juliette Labous (Fra) DSM at 7:03
9. Niamh Fisher-Black (NZ) SD Worx at 7:22
10. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Alé BTC Ljubljana at 7:24

Giro Donne’21 stage 4:

 

Building on an excellent season so far, Team DSM took their ninth win of the year at the Giro Donne on Stage 5. After Monday’s mountain time trial, the bunch were on open roads again, with a predominantly flat 120 kilometres from Milan to Carugate to contend with. As in previous stages, there were a few attempts early in the day to make it into the break but no move was allowed to escape, before one rider eventually hit out solo after 50 kilometres. A group of five set off in pursuit, managing to bridge the gap to the lone leader and forming a group of six which held a 1 minute advantage over the bunch, where all Team DSM riders were.

The gap to those out front increased to over 2 minutes and the team took up the onus in the peloton, beginning to set a steady tempo and reel in the break. After some strong riding by Floortje Mackaij and Liane Lippert, alongside some other sprint teams, the gap had fallen to only 30 seconds with 15 kilometres to go. One lone rider tried to hold off the charging peloton but the inevitable catch was made as the sprint trains jostled for position.

Taking command of the front of the bunch in the final two kilometres, Juliette Labous used her strong legs to hold onto a good position before passing over to Leah Kirchmann. Upping the speed, Kirchmann made sure that no one could get past the team’s train and delivered last pilot-fish Coryn Rivera at 450 metres to go. Rivera used all of her experience to hold the inside line and force others the long way around, dropping Wiebes off perfectly at 150 metres to go. With the road opening up in front of her, Wiebes was able to produce her trademark powerful sprint all the way to the line, sitting up and raising her arms in jubilation after taking the win.

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Stage winner, Lorena Wiebes (DSM): “The team did such a good job the whole stage, keeping control of things, we once again did a super lead out. After the last corner the girls put the speed really high, especially Coryn in the finale, so that I only had to sprint for the last 150 metres: it was amazing. We have a really strong team here so we’ll keep fighting for more stage wins at the race.”

Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile Stage 5 Result:
1. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) DSM in 2:49:15
2. Emma Norsgaard (Den) Movistar
3. Marianne Vos (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
4. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
5. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Alé BTC Ljubljana
6. Maria Confalonieri (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT
7. Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) Liv Racing
8. Eleonora Gasparrini (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
9. Maria Sperotto (ITA) A.R. Mone
10. Coryn Rivera (USA) DSM.

Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile Overall After Stage 5:
1. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) SD Worx in 10:30:08
2. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) SD Worx at 2:51
3. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx at 3:03
4. Elizabeth Deignan (GB) Trek-Segafredo at 5:53
5. Elise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon-SRAM at 6:12
6. Erica Magnaldi (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT at 6:35
7. Mavi Garcia (Spa) Alé BTC Ljubljana at 6:57
8. Juliette Labous (Fra) DSM at 7:01
9. Niamh Fisher-Black (NZ) Team SD Worx at 7:22
10. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Alé BTC Ljubljana at 7:24.

Giro Donne’21 stage 5:

 

Bouncing back from a 2nd spot at last Tuesday’s first bunch sprint opportunity of the race, Emma Norsgaard (Movistar) finished behind Wiebes (DSM) in Carugate, Norsgaard gave her squad one of the longest-awaited victories, the first win in the Blues’ four appearances in the Giro d’Italia Donne (UCI ProSeries), with a fantastic sprint on Stage 6, the longest in this year’s event, over 155km in and around Colico, by the Lago di Como.

The success had a great contribution, just like in previous days with their hard work, by the likes of Leah Thomas, Sara Martín or Aude Biannic, fully involved in keeping the breakaways under control – including a strong duo with Moolman (SDW) and Longo Borghini (TFS) – and later leading the ‘Danish Rocket’ out for the sprint, the Frenchwoman was notably active. Norsgaard bested Rivera (DSM), Vos (TJV) and Bastianelli (ALE) in a really open sprint, which takes the Movistar Team’s victory account to 27 in 2021, fourteen obtained by a women’s program. The Movistar team, which continues to aspire for a decent overall result with Katrine Aalerud, should still have a maximum three chances with Norsgaard through Sunday, starting with tomorrow’s lumpy stage seven around Puegnago del Garda (109.6km).

giro donne

Stage winner, Emma Norsgaard (Movistar): “It’s been an amazing job from the whole team to carry me in good position through those final kilometres. Things couldn’t have gone better today, to be honest. I’m so happy to have been able to crown this after yesterday’s second place, and especially reward my team-mates for everything they’ve for me through to the finish. It’s always said in these situations, but it’s true: this is the result of teamwork. I came close, then I took this win and now the goal has to be to aim for some more. I’m really enjoying this race, I always love doing the Giro, and hopefully with this great group of girls we can continue offering joy to this team.”

Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile Stage 6 Result:
1. Emma Norsgaard (Den) Movistar in 3:41:39
2. Coryn Rivera (USA) DSM
3. Marianne Vos (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
4. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Alé BTC Ljubljana
5. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Ceratizit-WNT
6. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
7. Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
8. Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) Liv Racing
9. Maria Vittoria Sperotto (Ita) A.R. Monex
10. Elena Cecchini (Ita) SD Worx.

Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile Overall After Stage 6:
1. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) SD Worx in 14:11:47
2. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) SD Worx at 2:51
3. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx at 3:03
4. Elizabeth Deignan (GB) Trek-Segafredo at 5:53
5. Elise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon-SRAM at 6:12
6. Erica Magnaldi (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT at 6:35
7. Mavi Garcia (Spa) Alé BTC Ljubljana at 6:57
8. Juliette Labous (Fra) DSM at 7:01
9. Niamh Fisher-Black (NZ) SD Worx at 7:22
10. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Alé BTC Ljubljana at 7:24.

Giro Donne’21 stage 6:

 

deceuninck
Soudal Will be the New Main Sponsor of the Lefevere Team From 2023
Sponsor Soudal will change from Lotto Soudal to Patrick Lefevere’s team in 2023, Het Laatste Nieuws reported. The team will then be officially called Soudal-Quick-Step. Team manager Lefevere had to look for a new main sponsor after Deceuninck dropped out.

Cycling team Lotto Soudal announced in a press release earlier today that Soudal will withdraw as a co-sponsor of the team at the end of 2022 after eight years. However, Soudal will not disappear from the professional peloton. The Belgian company that produces silicone, PU foam and adhesives will make the switch to Patrick Lefevere’s team at the end of 2022.

Because Soudal will only become the new main sponsor in a year and a half, Lefevere has to bridge 2022 in an alternative way. “I will announce the name of the new main sponsor for 2022 on Monday on the second rest day in Andorra. That won’t be Soudal,” Het Nieuwsblad quoted the team boss. According to the newspaper, Quick-Step will lend a helping hand.

Quick-Step will be the main sponsor next year and guarantee the budget for the 2022 season, which they would normally invest in the squad from 2022 to 2025. In exchange, Quick-Step will receive free name sponsorship from 2023 to 2025. Earlier, the successful team announced that clothing sponsor Vermarc will be replaced by Castelli and that Napoleon Games will increase its contribution.

All change for Patrick Lefevere:
lefevere

 

lotto soudal
Lotto and Soudal, A Strong Tandem Until 2022
Lotto and Soudal, the inseparable tandem of the eponymous Belgian WorldTour team, will continue their cooperation for another year, until the end of 2022. At the end of the 2022 season, both sponsors will be steering their own course after a successful eight-season partnership. Lotto can ascertain that it will continue to invest in the cycling team as head sponsor.

The Belgian National Lottery, with its strong Lotto brand, is a loyal partner of Belgian cycling and is considered a driving force within the world of cycling. Earlier this year, on March 2nd 2021, it was exactly 37 years ago that the National Lottery celebrated its first victory as a shirt sponsor in cycling. Since then, its involvement in cycling has only grown, making Lotto a proud partner of numerous cycling-related projects and several famous cycling races on Belgian soil. Besides a Belgian WorldTour team, the Nationale Loterij/Loterie Nationale also invests in a Ladies and U23 team, in numerous youth development programs and in cycling events, that bring the fans closer to their favourite sport.

When you say Lotto, you inevitably say Soudal. The Belgian family business is an international player and expert in chemical construction specialties, but has, as loyal name sponsor, also acquired brand awareness in cycling over the past few years. Since 2015, the two authentically Belgian companies have formed one of the longest-running partnerships within the international cycling peloton. Lotto Soudal has become an established name in cycling, which stands for sustainability, fortitude and long-term vision.

Lotto and Soudal have always had a clear project in mind and have focused on a mix of Belgian talents, such as Tim Wellens, Jens Debusschere, Tiesj Benoot or Brent Van Moer and international top riders like André Greipel and Caleb Ewan. And successfully. Since the start of the collaboration in 2015, 157 victories have been celebrated.

After the current cycling season, Lotto and Soudal will continue their successful partnership for one more year, until the end of the 2022 season. That will be the eighth season in which the Lotto Soudal WorldTour team will be aiming for successes, on home roads and abroad. Both parties hope for a grand cru year, in which the rewards of their hard work and their investments in recent years in talented, young riders will be reaped. As of 2023, Soudal will step down as the team’s sponsor, while Lotto remains on board as main sponsor of the team.

Dirk Coorevits – CEO Soudal Group: “Cycling is the glue that brought both companies together in 2015. Soudal and the National Lottery are two strong Belgian companies that have captured their shared values in a wonderful cycling project. The core values of Soudal are: Dreaming, Thinking, Daring, Doing and Persevering. Even in difficult times, always to keep believing in your strengths, always to strive for improvement and to also push through. Together, we developed a clear vision in which we have given young talents every opportunity to step up towards the highest level and we have never abandoned this mission over the past seven years. The Lotto Soudal project has helped us build national and international brand awareness. We hope that the collaboration will keep leading to beautiful results until the end of 2022.”

Jannie Haek – CEO Nationale Loterij/Loterie Nationale: “The names of Lotto-Adecco, Silence-Lotto or Davitamon-Lotto ring a bell with every cycling fan. Lotto has been a constant factor for 37 years, but one name that will also remain linked with Lotto is that of Soudal. It is the longest-running partnership in the history of the Lotto team and the successes we have achieved together will always be remembered. We are happy that we can continue this until the end of 2022. Afterwards, the National Lottery will continue to invest in a cycling team and by extension, in the Belgian cycling scene.”

Lotto and Soudal in 2022:
tdf21

 

total
Sagan and Entourage to TotalEnergies
Peter Sagan will sign a contract with the French ProTeam TotalEnergies after the Tour de France. Equipment sponsor Specialized will also announce a move. Various sources confirmed WielerFlits. Sagan can bring a whole core of staff and riders including Daniel Oss, Maciej Bodnar, Erik Baska and his brother Juraj Sagan to the French formation.

Specialized continues to commit to three-time World champion Peter Sagan. The American bicycle brand will provide three men’s teams with equipment in 2022. In addition to supplying TotalEnergies, it also remains loyal to BORA-hansgrohe and Deceuninck – Quick-Step. In the coming years, Specialized will also sponsor the women’s SD Worx team of Anna van der Breggen and Demi Vollering.

TotalEnergies team manager Jean-René Bernaudeau was not yet able to confirm the news at the Tour de France, but said to WielerFlits: “I’m still waiting for the signature of the parties involved,” the former rider said with a smile. Other sources indicated that everything will be sorted out after the Tour. When asked whether Niki Terpstra would stay with the team, the boss of Team TotalEnergies indicated that no discussions have yet been held with Terpstra.

New team for Sagan:
sagan

 

lotto soudal
Arnaud De Lie Reinforces Lotto Soudal
Arnaud De Lie, a young Belgian talent of 19 years old from Lescheret (Belgian Luxembourg), will step up from the Lotto Soudal Development Team to the WorldTeam on January 1st 2022. He signed a two-year agreement. De Lie is only a first-year U23 rider but already impressed with strong results this season and the previous years. Last season, De Lie became Belgian champion in the junior category and finished third at the European championships in Plouay. Besides the national title he conquered in Anzegem, De Lie also took home the overall victory at the ‘Belgium Cup’. He won the Vlaams-Brabantse Pijl and obtained top ten results in Paris-Roubaix and Harelbeke.

“Personally, it is more than a dream come true. At the start of the season, I didn’t even know what 2021 would bring, due to the whole Covid situation. Somehow, I managed to convince Lotto Soudal”, says Arnaud De Lie.

Arnaud De Lie’s first season as an U23 rider started quite late in 2021. However, the 19-year-old rode his first race between the pros and immediately finished third at the GP Vermarc, won by Álvaro Hodeg. Afterwards, Arnaud De Lie participated at the Giro U23, where he obtained three top ten results. Two days ago, De Lie soloed to victory at the GP Colour Code in Bassenge, the first leg of the U23 Road Series.

“Multiple teams were interested, but I deliberately chose for Lotto Soudal. In the end, the team has given me the chance and offered me great support to start racing at the U23 category. In January, I already joined the team training camp in Spain where I could train with amongst others Brent Van Moer, John Degenkolb, Tim Wellens and Philippe Gilbert. Phil really is my idol. And now I will be his teammate…”

Arnaud De Lie sees himself as a Classics rider, despite the fact he’s also a fast finisher and able to ride a decent time trial.

“Just give me some time. I definitely still need to improve my time trialing and maybe also the rest as well. If it’s too early to turn pro? I don’t think so. Look at what riders like Remco Evenepoel and Tadej Pogačar perform. I definitely don’t want to compare myself with them, I want to build my own career, but I am really ambitious”, concludes Arnaud De Lie.

“Ambition is the first step”, says Lotto Soudal General Manager John Lelangue. “Arnaud is a big talent and we will monitor his evolution very carefully. Step by step, just like we’re doing with all of our young guys. There are already a lot of them in the team, but everything fits into a thoughtful project. We build the future and in 2021, the young guys already showed themselves really well. Also Arnaud won’t disappoint us. We count on him but most of all, he can count on the team!”

Arnaud De Lie:
Arnaud De Lie

 

ag2r cirtoen
Paul Lapeira and Valentin Paret Peintre Will Join the Professionals in 2022
The AG2R CITROËN TEAM has signed Paul Lapeira, 21, and Valentin Paret Peintre, 20, for two and three years, respectively.

Both are members of the AG2R CITROËN U23 team, Chambéry Cyclisme Formation, and now they will join the professional squad beginning in the 2022 season.

“These are two riders who we have been following for a long time. They come from our training centre, which validates the quality of the work carried out there for 20 years. Paul is a puncheur and a victory hunter. Valentin is a real climber and will be able to shine in the mountain stages. We are happy to welcome them among us,” Vincent Lavenu, general manager of the AG2R CITROËN TEAM, said.

Paul Lapeira: “It’s a childhood dream come true. When I was 10 years old and people would ask me what I want to be, I would say a professional cyclist. This is just the start; I want to have a long and beautiful career among the pros. I spent five years in the AG2R CITROËN TEAM organisation, so it was the next logical step to start my career with this team. I know where I’m going and that gives me confidence.”

In brief
Born 21 February 2000.
Lives in Grandparigny (Manche)
Third in the road race of the 2021 French Amateur Championship
Winner of GP of Saint-Etienne Loire and the GP du commerce et de l’industrie de San Vendeiamo

Valentin Paret Peintre: “It’s a great pleasure to turn professional. When we are little, we would go to the Tour de France and we started dreaming. Today the dream is coming true. It’s not an accomplishment because there is still a lot to do, but I already can feel a bit of pride. Joining the AG2R CITROËN TEAM was the obvious choice. I have been at the training centre for 4 years. I will join my brother (Aurélien), and that will make it easier for me. We are very happy for our family who will be coming to see us both at the same races now. When we were young, we never imagined that one of us was going to join the pro ranks, so for both of us to be able to… it’s really beautiful.”

In brief
Born 14 January 2001.
Originally from Annemasse (Haute Savoie), lives in Chambéry (Savoie).
Winner of the Classique des Alpes juniors 2019
5th at the 2021 French Amateur Championship

ag2r

 

uci
UCI Team Ranking
The UCI has this week made a new update in the Team Ranking of 2021. Due to a strong opening week of the Tour de France, Bahrain Victorious and Alpecin-Fenix ​​have made a jump into the top-10 of the classification, at the expense of BORA-hansgrohe and Astana-Premier Tech.

At the top is still INEOS Grenadiers, which sees second placed Deceuninck – Quick-Step get closer. The difference is still large, almost 1,300 points. Jumbo-Visma remains third, albeit well behind, and UAE Team Emirates fourth. Behind, Bahrain Victorious moved from sixth to fifth and Alpecin-Fenix ​​from eighth to sixth have climbed up due to the first week of the Tour.

Further down in the top-10, AG2R Citroën and Movistar swapped ninth and tenth places. Outside the top-10, there are few changes to report among the WorldTour teams. The only shift is Groupama-FDJ’s thirteenth place at the expense of Israel Start-Up Nation.

UCI Team Ranking (on 6 July 2021):
1. INEOS Grenadiers – 9,381 points
2. Deceuninck – Quick-Step – 8,100 points
3. Jumbo-Visma – 6,012 points
4. UAE Team Emirates – 5,812 points
5. Bahrain Victorious – 5,333 points
6. Alpecin-Fenix ​​– 5,182 points
7. BORA-hansgrohe – 5,164 points
8. Astana-Premier Tech – 5,005 points
9. AG2R Citroën – 4,065 points
10. Movistar – 3,991 points
11. BikeExchange – 3,941 points
12. Trek-Segafredo – 3,789 points
13. Groupama-FDJ – 3,760 points
14. Israel Start-Up Nation – 3,737 points
15. Cofidis – 2,887 points
16. Arkéa-Samsic – 2,778 points
17. Qhubeka NextHash – 2,672 points
18. Lotto Soudal – 2.444 points
19. EF Education-Nippo – 2,271 points
20. TotalEnergies – 2,153 points
21. Team DSM – 1,923 points
22. Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert – 1,618 points

Alpecin-Fenix ​​remains the best ProTeam in the UCI Team Ranking. The Belgian team has now reached the 5,000 point mark. The difference with Arkéa-Samsic is now almost 2,500 points. TotalEnergies, Bingoal Pauwels Sauces-WB and Uno-X are the next ProTeams in the standings.

Best five ProTeams in the UCI Team Ranking (on 6 July 2021):
6. Alpecin-Fenix ​​– 5,182 points
16. Arkéa-Samsic – 2,778 points
20. TotalEnergies – 2,153 points
23. Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB – 1,421 points
24. Uno-X – 1,365 points.

INEOS-Grenadiers still top:
tdf21

 

androni
Savio Will Soon Present New Spanish Sponsor
A press release is still awaited, but according to Tuttobiciweb it is also a foregone conclusion that Gianni Savio – team manager of Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec – will soon present a new Spanish main sponsor.

Toy manufacturer Androni has now become an integral part of the professional peloton, but Savio is taking a different approach for next season. With a new Spanish backer, the eccentric Italian wants to aim even higher in the coming years. At the end of last year, Androni decided to extend his expiring sponsorship deal by one year, until the end of 2021.

Androni has been supporting the Italian squad for fourteen years. Over the years, the formation has been very successful in, among other things, the Giro d’Italia and other Italian events. The team, which has a ProTeam license, was again at the start of the Tour of Italy this year.

New deal for Gianni Savio:
savio

 

deceuninck
Deceuninck – Quick-Step and Napoleon Sports & Casino extend their agreement
Our team is proud to announce the continuation of its partnership with Napoleon Sports & Casino for three more years.

The successful partnership, that began at the start of 2020 and coincided with a period of great success for the Wolfpack, will now run until the end of 2024.

Speaking of the agreement, Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere said: “We are honoured to be able to continue our partnership with Napoleon and add another building block in our attempts to build a successful future. Napoleon’s support in recent times has added another dimension to our portfolio and we grateful for the support offered by a partner that understands our passion for enjoying sport and competition.”

This was echoed by Tim De Borle, CEO of Napoleon Sports & Casino: “The partnership with the Wolfpack was an amazing journey so far. We are very pleased to continue and even strengthen our collaboration in the future. It is no coincidence that this partnership feels like the perfect match. Both teams are driven by innovation, keep pushing boundaries and are among the very best in their field. The local Belgian roots are also an important link, and our values are closely related.”

As part of the partnership, Deceuninck – Quick-Step will support Napoleon’s efforts to promote responsible gaming and efforts to create an exciting and entertaining yet safe environment for their customers, who understand their limits.

In an exclusive behind the scenes video, we can see how Patrick Lefevere and Napoleon came to an agreement. Lieutenants Remco Evenepoel and Iljo Keisse witnessed this historic moment and approved the deal!

See for yourself!

napoleon

 

norway tour
Ladies Tour of Norway Gets Green Light for 2021 Edition
Good news from Scandinavia: the Ladies Tour of Norway can take place with foreign teams this year. This has been decided by the Norwegian government, although this is accompanied by additional safety measures. The event will take place from 12 to 15 August.

With the new safety measures it is possible to welcome foreign riders and teams, but the organisation of the Ladies Tour of Norway will work with strict testing procedures this year, in the hope of organising a corona-free edition. The multi-day cycling race has a total of four stages and starts on Thursday 12 August with a relatively flat stage between Halden and Sarpsborg.

Stage two uses a gravel section to Mysen, while in the third stage the decision will be made in the battle for the overall victory. The riders are then presented with a real mountain stage (just under 3,000 meters) with the ascent to ski hotel Norefjell Ski & Spa in the finalé, a climb of eleven kilometres with ramps of up to 10%.

The final stage takes place between Drøbak and Halden. After three technical and fairly difficult local laps, we will know the winner of the final stage and the overall winner of the Ladies Tour of Norway in Halden. Last year the race was canceled due to the corona pandemic. In 2019, 2018 and 2017 the overall victory went to Marianne Vos.

Triple winner in Norway – Marianne Vos:
giro21st3

 

header intermarche wanty
Giro d’Italia 2021 – The Film
Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux brings you an emotional, exclusive behind-the-scenes outlook on how the team experienced the 2021 Giro d’Italia.

From 8 to 30 May, Alessandro Volders (Cyclingmedia Agency) filmed the riders and staff throughout the entire Corsa Rosa, from Turin to Milano, providing fascinating insight on Taco van der Hoorn’s historic stage win in Canale.

Enjoy the raw emotions of sports director Valerio Piva, the achievement from General Manager Jean-François Bourlart’s perspective, the day to day struggles from riders Quinten Hermans, Andrea Pasqualon, Simone Petilli, Rein Taaramäe, and much more.

 


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